Skip to content

The Producers

CLOSED - APRIL 27 - MAY 14, 2023

Book by: Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan
Music and Lyrics by: Mel Brooks
Directed By: Erica Wyman-Abrahamson
Music Directed By: Rick Reynolds
 
Bialystock and Bloom! Those names should strike terror and hysteria in anyone familiar with Mel Brooks’ classic cult comedy film. Now as a big Broadway musical, The Producers once again sets the standard for modern, outrageous, in-your-face humor. It is a truly “boffo” hit, winning a record twelve Tony Awards and wowing capacity crowds night after night.
The plot is simple: a down-on-his-luck Broadway producer and his mild-mannered accountant come up with a scheme to produce the most notorious flop in history, thereby bilking their backers (all “little old ladies”) out of millions of dollars. Only one thing goes awry: the show is a smash hit! The antics of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom as they maneuver their way fecklessly through finding a show (the gloriously offensive “Springtime for Hitler”), hiring a director, raising the money and finally going to prison for their misdeeds is a lesson in broad comic construction. At the core of the insanely funny adventure is a poignant emotional journey of two very different men who become friends.
With a truly hysterical book co-written by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan (Annie) and music and lyrics by Mr. Brooks, The Producers skewers Broadway traditions and takes no prisoners as it proudly proclaims itself an “equal opportunity offender!”

Cast & Production

Show Cast

*Actors appear courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association

Max Bialystock*Edward Hightower
Leo BloomJames Jones
UllaRenee DeWeese Moran
Roger DeBrisJohn Mannion
Carmen GhiaJesse Cortez
Franz Liebkind*Keith Pinto
EnsembleDavid Issel
EnsembleMohammed Ismail
EnsembleKayvon Kordestani
EnsembleKaren Althoff
EnsembleReggie Reynolds
EnsembleElana Ron
EnsembleAlyson Chilton
EnsembleChristine Baker
EnsembleTiffany Jianto
EnsembleJessica Whittemore
EnsembleAshley Faus
EnsembleSteve Roma
EnsembleJoe Steely
EnsembleDavid Truong
Creative team
DirectorErica Wyman
ChoreographerChristoper Childers
Music DirectorRick Reynolds
Production Stage ManagerDanielle Santana-Combs
Lighting DesignerPam Grey
Scenic DesignerKevin Davies
Costume DesignerSharon Peng
PropsRosie Issel
Sound Designer/engineerSheraj Ragoobeer
Asst. DirectorHayley Lovgren
Asst. Stage ManagerAdria Dito
Sound OperatorXandra Nemchik
CrewKara Connelly, Noah Itzkovitz, Dave LeBlanc, Adria Olson, Eric Olson, Kali Shah, Rosie Issel

Bios

Karen Althoff

(Lick Me Bite Me/Ensemble) (She/Her)
Karen is excited to return to Hillbarn Theater. Other production credits include Sweeney Todd, Will Rogers Follies and The Producers. Notable performances include Ghost of Christmas Future and lead dancer in multiple years of A Christmas Carol. Karen has also worked as Director, Music Director, and Choreographer for San Carlos Children’s Theater, St. Matthews Catholic School, and San Carlos Chicken’s Ball. Additionally, she has been a hairdresser and wigs designer for community theater in the Bay Area.

Christine Baker

(Usherette /Ensemble) (She/Her)
Christine is so happy to FINALLY return to the Hillbarn stage! She last performed at Hillbarn in Mamma Mia in 2019. Past theatre credits include Big Fish at SCP (Choreographer), On The Town at SBMT (Ensemble) & West Side Story, Cabaret, and Funny Girl at Hillbarn. A Des Moines native, Christine moved to the Bay Area in 2008 where she continued her dance training with various studios. Currently, she attends Jazz & Tap classes at Zohar Dance Company in Palo Alto & is a member of Groove Generation, an all female hip hop dance company at In The Groove Studios in Oakland. Christine works full time at a diversified holding company in Redwood City in order to pay her rent & support her love of travel. Love to Mom & Al!

Alyson Chilton

(Ensemble) (She/Her)
Alyson performed in the 2012 production of The Producers at Hillbarn and is delighted to repeat this classic with such a talented cast and amazing artistic team. You may recognize her from the recent holiday musical Elf! She has performed all over the Bay Area with BBB, WCT, BAM, ROLT, AMTSJ, and 42nd Street Moon. Trade show manager by day, thespian by night. She hopes you enjoy “the best show in town”!

Jesse Cortez

(Carmen Ghia) (He/Him)
Jesse is flamboyantly returning to the Hillbarn stage! Last seen in Assassins (Hillbarn Theater) as Zangara, he has been “keeping it gay” in Bay Area Theater since 2013. Member of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, other recent theater credits include In The Heights (Berkeley Playhouse) and Clue: On Stage (Hillbarn Theater). He would like to send lots of love to his boyfriend, Timothy! Follow him on Instagram/Tiktok @jessecortezmusic

Renee DeWeese

(Ulla) (She/Her)
Hillbarn debut! Recently Renee was in Anything Goes (Virtue) and The Pajama Game (Gladys/choreographer) at 42nd Street Moon. Bay Area native and award winning performer and choreographer, Renee holds a BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Favorite roles: Cassie in A Chorus Line (BATCC Award best supporting actress), Dream Laurey in Oklahoma!, Louise in Carousel, Bambi in Curtains & Tiger Lily in Peter Pan. Renee is the Founder and Executive Director of Performing Academy. Renee feels especially grateful to be reconnecting with her childhood musical theatre teacher Erica and is so thankful to her for this opportunity. @reneedeweesemoran

Ashley Faus

(Shirley /Ensemble) (She/Her)
Ashley is excited to make her Hillbarn debut! She performs regularly around the Bay Area, and recent favorites include Sister Act and Sound of Music with Broadway by the Bay and Big Fish with Sunnyvale Community Players. She would like to thank her husband for his enthusiastic support of her theatrical endeavors!

Edward Hightower*

(Max Bialystock) (He/Him)
Edward is delighted to be making his Hillbarn debut. NorCalTheatre Highlights: Cervantes/Quixote, Man of La Mancha (Critics Circle Award); Lord Farquaad, Shrek (Theatre Bay Area Award); Max, The Producers (Elly Award). Film: Nick Anderson & Skyler Henry’s The Merger [Awards: Best Comedy Performance, Skiptown Film Festival; Best Actor, Absurd Film Festival]; Michael Allen Hennesy’s Critic (2023); Hassan Said’s This Is Your Song; mikO Tolliver’s Section 8. Edward is happiest with his best role to date: fatherhood. He wrote this bio in third person.

Mohamed Ismail

(Kevin/ Ensemble/Franz u/s) (He/Him)
Mohamed is an Egyptian-American actor and was most recently seen at Hillbarn as the condiment-pun-slinging Colonel Mustard in CLUE. Outside of performing, Mohamed works as the Director of Electrical Engineering at Synapse Product Development in San Francisco. In addition to graduating from ASU and Stanford with engineering degrees, Mohamed also attended Gelato University in Italy and loves making frozen treats. He is excited to share the stage again with his partner Jessica, whom he met in a Mel Brooks musical 9 years ago.

David Issel

(Mr. Marks/ Ensemble) (He/Him)
David is happy to be performing in his 4th Hillbarn show and excited to work with such a great cast. He previously appeared in the ensembles of Newsies, Annie and Clue, and has supported multiple shows and companies on crew. Thanks to Rosie, Taryn and Chris for your support!

Tiffany Jianto

(Ensemble) (She/Her)
Tiffany grew up dancing and playing piano, and she graduated from UC Berkeley with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Music. She is thrilled to be back at Hillbarn since her last appearance in Mamma Mia. She was last seen in Big Fish at SCP as an Alabama Lamb and in the ensemble. When not performing or at her computer, you can find her taking and teaching dance classes at Zohar Dance Company, playing on the badminton courts, and traveling the world. Thank you to my friends and family for all your support!

James M. Jones

(Leo Bloom) (He/Him)
James wants to dedicate this show to his parents. While vacationing in Memphis, they had the opportunity to see The Producers touring company at The Orpheum theater. James was 10 years old and that Leo Bloom character never left his mind. Similar to Leo, James decided to start his career in accounting for seven years and then with a little help and support from his friends and family he decided enough was enough. Thank you mom and dad for giving me the courage and support to continue to do what I love.

Kayvon Kordestani

(Hold MeTouchMe/Ensemble) (She/Her)
New to Hillbarn, Kayvon has found this staff, cast, and organization to be a pure delight! Kayvon comes to us from the South Bay where she has performed, choreographed, and taught at a variety of theater companies. Kayvon dedicates all her work to her mom Nancy and her fabulous team of doctors – Lee, Murthy, and Sadchev. When not onstage she can be found at Disneyland or Crumbl. Love to Mom, Dad, Ren, Bobbie, and Sebastian.

John Mannion​

(Roger DeBris) (He/Him)
John – For Hillbarn Perfect Arrangement, Gypsy, Coastal Rep Rumors, Tabard Odd Couple, Foothill Drood, Roe, Diary of Anne Frank, Custom Made / Z Space Shoshana in December, Palo Alto Players All Together Now, Sunnyvale Big Fish. Decades ago, he was a musical theater director (Stanford), improv/sketch performer (Mumblypeg, ComedySportz), and rock musician/vocalist. A day-job advertising executive, John thanks his talented wife and daughters, mother, in-laws, co-workers, coaches, fellow performers, and Hillbarn for their encouragement.

Keith Pinto*

(Franz Liebkind) (He/Him)
Keith is so excited to be back at Hillbarn after appearing in Assassins. You may have also seen him in  I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Sweeney Todd and Cabaret for which he received a TBA Award. Other favorites include 1776 (American Conservatory Theatre), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (San Jose Stage Company), Company (San Francisco Playhouse), Sweet Charity (CenterRep) and Me & My Girl (42nd Street Moon)

Reggie Reynolds

(Kiss Me Feel Me/Ensemble) (She/Her)
Reggie is thrilled to be performing in the quintessential show for tapping showgirls and #1 on her bucket list: The Producers! This is her second appearance at Hillbarn; her first was in Big The Musical in 2006 and was also directed by Erica Wyman. Endless love and gratitude to my sweet husband, Dave!

Steve Roma

(Bryan/Storm Trooper Solo/Ensemble) (He/Him)
Steve is proud to make his Hillbarn debut. He has previously appeared in WVLO’s Something Rotten, SCP’s Urinetown the Musical, SBMT’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as well as the Tabard Theatre’s Queen of the Mist. He has had the pleasure of appearing in shows such as Forever Plaid, Les Misérables, The Andrews Brothers, and many others. He is so thankful for the support of his friends and family during the rehearsal and performance process, as well as this extremely talented cast and crew. Psalm 23

Elana Ron

(Ensemble) (She/Her)
Elana is excited to return to Hillbarn after appearing in Sweeney Todd, The Full Monty, Mary Poppins, and Legally Blonde here. She was most recently seen as Lady of the Lake in Spamalot and Poppy in Noises Off at Coastal Repertory Theatre. She has performed with various theatre companies around the Bay Area. Some favorite productions have included Young Frankenstein, In The Heights, and Annie at Palo Alto Players, and being part of the The Gift- A Christmas Carol at NDNU for over 20 years.

Joe Steely

(Ensemble) (He/Him)

Joe is thrilled to be back at Hillbarn for his third show at the theatre.  You may have seen him in the world premiere of The Four Gifts and the Holiday spectacular Elf the Musical directed by Randy O’hara, or perhaps most recently in the Pacifica Spindrift Players Production of Next To Normal directed by Doug Greer. He is so excited for everyone to see this crazy fun show, and he as always thanks his friends and family who support him through his Journey’s.

David Truong

(Scott/Ensemble) (He/Him)
David is a recent graduate from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and he’s thrilled for his first show with Hilbarn Theatre. In college, he was heavily involved in the theater community, acting in shows like Cabaret (Victor), Tartuffe (Clèante), and AGO (Riley). Most recently, he performed in Quantum Desire (Jibril) at Inferno Theatre and On the Town (Ensemble) at South Bay Musical Theatre. Outside theater, he enjoys cooking, thrifting, and soap-making.

Jessica Whittemore

(Usherette/Ensemble/ Ulla u/s) (She/Her)
Jessica is titillated to perform in what’s gotta be one of her favorite shows, at one of her favorite theaters. Previous Hillbarn shows include Cabaret and A Wonderful Life. Other favorite roles include Alison (Fun Home—CLTC), Ilona and Amalia (She Loves Me—SBMT, FMT), Margaret (Silent Sky—CLTC), Velma (Chicago—Cabrillo), and Ulla (The Producers—Cabrillo, WCT). This will be Jessica’s second time sharing the stage in a Mel Brooks musical with her partner, Mohamed. Fingers remain crossed for Blazing Saddles: The Musical.

*Actors appear courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association

SHOW PHOTOS​

2022/2023 Season

Actors Name

Character

Brigitte (she/hers)  is a native Bay Area actress and theatre maker. When Brigitte is not on the stage she is taking your calls managing the Hillbarn Box office. Brigitte Is very excited to be back performing on the Hillbarn stage with such an incredible wealth of bay area talent. Some past roles include Ensemble/swing in Kinky Boots (ROLT), Kelly Manning in The Mad Ones & Heather Chandler in Heathers (PSP), Ali in Mamma Mia (San Jose Stage Co), Poppy in Noises Off (Hillbarn Theatre), Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods (LASC).